Officials: Tornado Hits Westmoreland County
LIGONIER (KDKA) — Emergency officials say an apparent tornado touched down in Westmoreland County.
Dan Stevens with Westmoreland County Emergency Management said the tornado caused major damage, destroying several buildings.
The roof of a historic home on Robb Road in Ligonier was torn off. Stevens lives close by and saw what happened first hand.
“Incident actually happened right in front of me as I was traveling [Route] 711 north,” he said. “I’ve been doing emergency management services for the past 25 years and experienced a couple of tornados and I was too close to this one.”
The Pelesky family who lives in the house says the sky turned green then yellow and they heard a whistle noise that sounded like a train.
Tracey Pelesky told her family, which includes her husband and her children ages 2 and 4, to go to the basement.
The storm not only damaged the house, but also their vehicles and yard. They’re just happy to be alive.
“We can replace most of what’s the damage, it’s just your family is most important,” Tracey Pelesky said.
Elsewhere, a large tree came down across Tall Timber Drive, blocking some people from getting home.
In other parts of Ligonier Township, trees snapped at their bases – roots pulled out of the ground – yards littered with debris.
There were also downed power lines arched across roadways creating a dangerous situation.
“People are lucky they didn’t get hurt,” Shari Herrholtz said.
Stevens believes a tornado touched down, but that will have to be confirmed by the National Weather Service.
Crews went to damaged homes to check for anyone who may have been trapped inside.
“People heed the warnings through the National Weather Service and other agencies that are involved, it’s very comforting to know that the people here are listening and heeding the warnings and when they see approaching storms they take cover,” Stevens said.